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Closing Remarks by Dr. Katsumi Otsuka in ILC 2021

It is my great pleasure to address the closing remarks of ILC2021 in Europe and the Middle East.

First of all, let me express my sincere gratitude to all the panelists from Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East and even from Japan for making this series of events a success. Without their participation, this conference would not have been so important and high level. Without these distinguished presenters, our webinars could not have been as fruitful as they were. I want to say thank you very much to all the people who earnestly participated in the online webinars.

The work of all of the association coordinators was excellent and made the webinars beautiful and meaningful. I should not forget to acknowledge the splendid work of UPF’s technical staff. Thank you very much for tireless investment over the last two weeks. It was wonderful that we had no technical problems throughout these events.

ILC 2021 was simultaneously organized all around the world from April 29 to May 1st with the topic of the Peaceful Unification of the Korean Peninsula commemorating the 30th anniversary of UPF’s founders, Dr. Sun Myung moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon’s, visit to Pyongyang, North Korea, in 1991 and their summit with Kim Il Sung, who once attempted to kill Dr. Moon in a North Korean prison camp.

Since the Korean Peninsula is located geographically very far from Europe and the Middle East, when this program was announced, I thought the theme of ILC 2021 “the Peaceful Unification of Korea” might be a topic that many people were not so interested in. However, many panelist and attendees showed a very deep concern for the topics. I would like to express my appreciation for this. It was very good idea to organize the ILC2021 webinars according to the 8 associations, a part of UPF’s structure. I think it is reasonable to say that the 8 association webinars functioned very well and attracted many interested people from around the world.

The unification of Germany, which was a major problem of the Cold War period in Europe, was achieved following long-term dialogue and exchange at both the governmental and civilian level. I would like to offer my deep respect to the European people’s endeavor to overcome their past resentment and difficulties, such as economic gap between East and West and so forth. It is unforgettable that German reunification brought peace and tremendous economic development to Europe. The established peace in Europe sent a warm spring breeze to the people of Korean at that time. They came to have hope that the reunification of Korea would be realized soon.

If you asked me whether German reunification could be a lesson for the peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula or not, I would instantly say “Yes.” Of course, there is much uniqueness in East Asian culture and its history. The current political environment which surrounds South Korea is so different from that of Europe and Germany. Even taking all these differences into account, however, I dare to say that the European experience for reconciliation and peace is valuable and precious for peacebuilding in Korea. I am sure that the role of Europe in the reunification of the Korean Peninsula will increase as progress is made in this endeavor.

The division of the Korean Peninsula is not simply a remnant or leftover of the Cold War in the 20th century. More than that, the division of Korea is an unavoidable, major issue for realizing not only East Asian regional stability, but also world peace. Dr. Moon’s view on this division is much deeper than our own thinking.

The physical size of the Korean Peninsula is small, in the same way that a keyhole is small in comparison to the door in which it is located. UPF’s founders explained that world peace will not be realized without first achieving peace of the Korean Peninsula, which they likened to a “Keyhole for peace”. This is a unique metaphor which expresses the importance of the Korean Peninsula. They even said that only True Love can open the door to peace. As many people have presented, in order for the South Korean people to unite with those from North Korea in peace, they must embrace North Korea with tolerance and forgiveness, sharing their common identity as Koreans.

I should not forget that the founder of UPF said in public over and over again that "the unification of the Korean Peninsula will not be possible without the direct intervention of God." What they meant by saying this is that since North Korea is like a faith-based organization, and so a reunification movement should also be created based on religious sentiment or stronger determination for unification.

Political measures, economic cooperation, and cultural exchanges are also necessary for the unification process. To make these measures work, we need the warm heat of "walking together” and the heart of parents whose desire the unity of siblings.

UPF has greatly developed since after Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon inaugurated it for the sake of world peace with the support and active commitment of many prominent people. I sincerely thank you for all your support. Let us keep working toward vision 2027, world peace, the visit of Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon to North Korea, and for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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